Key plants for a small shady gar­den

Gardeners' World - - Prairie Border -

As­tran­tias

Dainty flow­ers, in shades from white to deep­est bur­gundy, dance on tall stems, held above the leaves. Grow in par­tial shade but they like moist, fer­tile soil. Height x Spread 45-60cm x 30-45cm Flow­ers May-Sep

Ferns

The dra­matic fronds add tex­ture to borders. As wood­land plants, shade is the nat­u­ral habi­tat for ferns. Once es­tab­lished, many will grow well in dry shade. H xS 30-100cm x 40-120cm

Hardy gera­ni­ums

Hard to beat in par­tial shade, for the num­ber of flow­ers they pro­duce and their long flow­er­ing sea­son. They spread rapidly, pro­vid­ing colour­ful ground cover. HxS 40-80cm x 40-80cm F May-Oct

Heucheras

In­valu­able ev­er­greens for even deep shade, with leaves in myr­iad colours, from orange and red to pur­ple, black, and ev­ery hue of green. The tiny flow­ers are an added bonus. HxS 30-60cm x 30-50cm F Jun-Aug

Hostas

The bold leaves are the per­fect con­trast to more del­i­cate shade-dwellers. Choose a var­ie­gated va­ri­ety to stand out in low light. Spikes of lilac flow­ers. Pro­tect from slugs. HxS 50-100cm x 50-100cm F Jul-Aug

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